ISIL Threat Isn’t 'Contained'

‘More Than 1,200 People Outside Of Iraq And Syria Have Been Killed In Attacks Inspired Or Coordinated By The Islamic State’

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ‘We have contained them’ GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC News: “ISIS is gaining strength, aren't they?” PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Well, I don't think they're gaining strength. What is true is that from the start our goal has been first to contain -- and we have contained them.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 11/12/2015)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “Our military leaders, the Director of National Intelligence and others say, over and over again, that they feel we're facing more threats from more directions than ever before. Do you share that assessment?” JOHN BRENNAN, CIA Director: “Yes, I do.” (U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing, 6/16/2016)

‘The Numbers Of ISIL Fighters Now Far Exceeds What Al Qaeda Had At Its Height’

“More than 1,200 people outside of Iraq and Syria have been killed in attacks inspired or coordinated by the Islamic State, according to a New York Times analysis. … Nearly half of the victims were killed in attacks that targeted Westerners.” (“How Many People Have Been Killed in ISIS Attacks Around The World,” The New York Times, 6/14/16)

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA Director: “ISIL… is a formidable, resilient, and largely cohesive enemy, and we anticipate that the group will adjust its strategy and tactics in an effort to regain momentum.” (John Brennan, Prepared Remarks Before The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, 6/16/2016)

  • BRENNAN: “The numbers of ISIL fighters now far exceeds what al Qaeda had at its height. We're talking about tens of thousands of individuals.” (U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing, 6/16/2016)

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA Director: “Since at least 2014, ISIL has been working to build an apparatus to direct and inspire attacks against its foreign enemies, resulting in hundreds of casualties.” (John Brennan, Prepared Remarks before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 6/16/2016)

ISIL ‘Uses Technology Better Than Most Tech Start-Ups,’ Orlando Terrorist ‘Consumed A Hell Of A Lot Of Jihadist Propaganda’

“ISIS uses technology better than most tech start-ups. Ghost Security Group, a counterterrorism organization, has noted in the past that ISIS utilizes almost every social app imaginable to communicate and share its propaganda, including mainstays like Twitter and Facebook; encrypted chat apps such as Telegram, Surespot, and Threema; and messaging platforms including Kik and WhatsApp. The terror group shares videos of beheadings on YouTube and even more gruesome clips on LiveLeak. They use the remarkably secure Apple iMessage to communicate. They preach to their disciples across the world using Internet radio stations. When a terror attack takes place, they use Twitter to claim responsibility and their followers subsequently cheer with favorites and retweets. Perhaps most frighteningly, the group’s dominance as a modern-day terror network is visible through how quickly their social-media dominance is accelerating. Technology has, in a very real way, allowed ISIS to create its terror network with all kinds of efficiencies.” (“How ISIS Became the World’s Deadliest Tech Start-Up,” Vanity Fair, 6/20/2016)

“The same morning Omar Mateen killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, he posted on Facebook his allegiance to ISIS ...‘…now taste the Islamic state vengeance,’ Mateen posted early Sunday morning, according to officials in the FBI’s counterterrorism division. ‘In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic State in the usa.’” (“Orlando Shooter on Facebook: Now ‘Taste’ ISIS ‘Vengeance,’” ABC News, 6/15/2016)

  • “According to one official, analysis of Mateen's electronic devices showed searches for jihadist propaganda, including videos of ISIS beheading videos and of Anwar al-Awlaki -- an influential American-born imam who worked as a spokesman for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was killed in 2011. ‘He consumed a hell of a lot of jihadist propaganda’ online, the source said.” (“Orlando Shooting: What Motivated A Killer?” CNN, 6/14/16)
  • “Islamic State on Monday praised the man who carried out the deadliest shooting attack in U.S. history, calling him ‘one of the soldiers of the Caliphate in America.’ In a statement broadcast over its Al Bayan radio station, the radical Sunni Muslim group said ‘brother’ Omar Mateen carried out Sunday morning’s deadly assault in a popular gay nightclub in Orlando...” (“Islamic State Praises Orlando Shooter,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/13/2016)

Orlando Attack Part Of A Broader ‘Month Of Calamity’ ISIL Campaign

“In an audio recording released on May 22, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani called for ‘a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers,’ saying his appeal was ‘especially for the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America.’ In the recording attributed to al-Adnani, he specifically focused on ISIS supporters who are no longer able to reach ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria and join the so-called caliphate. The message seems geared toward inspiring ‘lone wolves’ — attackers who are inspired by ISIS but may have no organizational ties with the group whatsoever. ‘The smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would if you were with us. If one of you hoped to reach the Islamic State, we wish we were in your place to punish the Crusaders day and night,’ Adnani was quoted as saying. Ramadan — a holy month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer and reflection — is observed by Muslims worldwide. But militant groups including both ISIS and al-Qaeda have used Ramadan as a pretext to ramp up attacks and gain attention.” (“What to Know About ISIS’s Role in the Orlando Shooting,” TIME, 6/12/16)

FRANCE: “ISIS-Inspired Attacker Kills French Police Officer And Streams It On Facebook” (“ISIS-Inspired Attacker Kills French Police Officer And Streams It On Facebook,” The Washington Post, 6/14/2016)

BELGIUM: “A network of terror suspects feared to be plotting imminent attacks has been shut down in a major operation in Belgium. Sources told broadcaster VTM Nieuws they were planning to attack Brussels as football supporters gathered to watch Belgium’s Euro 2016 match against Ireland in on Saturday afternoon. At least 12 people were arrested and 40 detained in total after police launched overnight raids across the capital and elsewhere in the country on Friday.” (“Belgian Police Arrest 12 Terror Suspects For 'Plotting Imminent Attacks During Euro 2016 Match Against Ireland,'” Independent, 6/18/16)

BANGLADESH: “A Hindu priest was hacked to death on Tuesday morning in southwestern Bangladesh in what the police suspect is the latest in a series of killings by Islamist militants. The priest, Anando Gopal Ganguly, 68, was riding a bicycle in an isolated rural area not far from his home when he was attacked by three men on a motorcycle who came up from behind him… The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the murder…” (“Militant Islamists Are Suspected In Slaying Of Hindu Priest In Bangladesh,” The New York Times, 6/7/16)

  • “Three attackers fatally shot and stabbed the wife of a police superintendent in southern Bangladesh on Sunday morning, the police said, the latest in a series of killings in which Islamist militants are the primary suspects. The woman, Mahmuda Khanam Mitu, 30, and her young son were walking through a narrow lane near their home in Chittagong on the way to a school bus stop when three men arriving on a motorcycle stabbed her and shot her in the head …The Amaq News Agency of the Islamic State claimed the killing…” (“Wife of Bangladesh Policeman Who Went After Islamist Militants Is Killed,” The New York Times, 6/5/16)

President Obama’s ISIL State Of Denial: ‘They’re Not Coming Here’

PRESIDENT OBAMA:: ‘We have contained them’ GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC News: “ISIS is gaining strength, aren't they?” PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Well, I don't think they're gaining strength. What is true is that from the start our goal has been first to contain -- and we have contained them.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 11/12/2015)

  • OBAMA: ISIL like ‘a JV team’ DAVID REMNICK, The New Yorker: “Even in the period that you’ve been on vacation in the last couple of weeks, in Iraq, in Syria, of course, in Africa, al-Qaeda is resurgent.” PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Yes, but, David, I think the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” … REMNICK: “But that JV team just took over Fallujah.” (“Spinning Obama’s Reference To Islamic State As A ‘JV’ Team,” The Washington Post, 9/3/14)
  • OBAMA: Not ‘something that we have to wade into’ “Falluja is a profoundly conservative Sunni city in a country that, independent of anything we do, is deeply divided along sectarian lines. And how we think about terrorism has to be defined and specific enough that it doesn’t lead us to think that any horrible actions that take place around the world that are motivated in part by an extremist Islamic ideology are a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.” (“Going the Distance,” The New Yorker, 1/27/14)
  • OBAMA: ‘They’re not coming here’ “…the president would say that he had failed to fully appreciate the fear many Americans were experiencing about the possibility of a Paris-style attack in the U.S. …he has never believed that terrorism poses a threat to America commensurate with the fear it generates. Even during the period in 2014 when ISIS was executing its American captives in Syria, his emotions were in check. Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s closest adviser, told him people were worried that the group would soon take its beheading campaign to the U.S. ‘They’re not coming here to chop our heads off,’ he reassured her.” (“The Obama Doctrine,” The Atlantic, 4/16)


Related Issues: ISIL, War on Terror, National Security